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Link Building Glossary: 101+ Must-Know Link Building Terms to Know in 2024

link building glossary

Are you feeling lost in the vast world of SEO? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Navigating through terms like “backlinks,” “crawling,” and “SERPs” can be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to the game. But fear not, because we’re here to guide you through the SEO alphabet soup in simple, easy-to-understand terms.

In this beginner’s guide to SEO, we’ll break down the essentials of search engine optimization into bite-sized chunks. From understanding the basics of link building to demystifying the secrets behind search engine algorithms, we’ve got you covered every step of the way.

Get ready to dive into the world of SEO with confidence as we walk you through each concept, providing practical explanations and tips to help you boost your website’s visibility and ranking. So grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and let’s embark on this SEO journey together!

Ready? Let’s dive in!

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y


A

Anchor Text 

The clickable text in a hyperlink that directs users to another webpage.

Algorithm Updates

Changes made to search engine algorithms, affecting how websites are ranked in search results.

Alt Tags/Attributes

Descriptive text added to images to provide information to users and search engines in case the image cannot be displayed.

Attributes

Elements in HTML that provide additional information about an element, such as the alt attribute for images.

Algorithm 

A set of rules followed by a computer program to solve problems or perform tasks, often used in the context of search engines determining website rankings.

Authority

The perceived expertise and trustworthiness of a website, influencing its ranking in search engine results.

Automated Link Building

Using software or tools to automatically generate or acquire backlinks to a website.


B

Backlinks

Links from external websites pointing to a specific webpage on your site, considered important for SEO.

Bots

Automated programs, also known as robots, spiders, or crawlers, used by search engines to index and rank webpages.

Brand Mentions

Instances where a brand’s name is mentioned on the internet, even without a hyperlink, which can still contribute to brand visibility and reputation.

Broken Links

Hyperlinks on a webpage that lead to non-existent or inaccessible webpages, negatively impacting user experience and SEO.

Black Hat SEO

Unethical or deceptive techniques used to manipulate search engine rankings, often resulting in penalties when discovered.

Blog Commenting

Participating in discussions on blog posts by leaving comments that may include a link back to your website, potentially for SEO benefits or referral traffic.

Bounce Rate

The percentage of website visitors who navigate away from a site after viewing only one page, often used as a measure of user engagement.


C

Canonical Tags

HTML tags used to specify the preferred version of a webpage when multiple versions with similar content exist, helping to prevent duplicate content issues.

Content Marketing

Strategy focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant content to attract and engage a target audience, often used to earn natural backlinks.

Citation Flow

A metric developed by Majestic that quantifies the influence of a URL based on the number of sites linking to it, indicating the strength of its backlink profile.

Click-through Rate (CTR)

The ratio of users who click on a specific link to the number of total users who view a webpage, often used to measure the effectiveness of online advertising or search engine results.

Crawling

The process by which search engine bots systematically browse the web, discovering and indexing web pages to be included in search engine results.

Cross-linking

The practice of linking between different pages or websites, often within the same network or related content, to improve navigation and SEO.

Conversion Rates

The percentage of website visitors who take a desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form, often used to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.


D

Deep Links

Hyperlinks that direct users to a webpage other than the homepage of a website, often used to provide more specific information or target different sections of the site.

Domain Authority (DA)

A metric developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine results pages (SERPs), based on factors such as backlink quality, domain age, and popularity.

Disavow

The process of informing search engines not to consider specific backlinks when assessing a website’s ranking, typically used to address low-quality or spammy links.

Directory Submission

The practice of submitting a website’s URL and information to online directories, potentially increasing visibility and generating backlinks.

Duplicate Content

Content that appears in more than one location on the internet, potentially leading to issues with search engine rankings due to confusion over which version to index.

Dofollow Links

Hyperlinks that allow search engine crawlers to follow them and pass link equity (ranking power) from one webpage to another, typically considered valuable for SEO.

Doorway Pages

Webpages created specifically to rank highly for particular search queries, often with little or no valuable content, and designed to redirect users to another site or page.


E

Editorial Links 

Links that are voluntarily placed by website owners or content creators without any form of compensation, typically based on the merit of the content.

Evergreen Content

Content that remains relevant and valuable to readers over a long period of time, as opposed to time-sensitive or trending topics.

External Links

Hyperlinks that point from one website to another, directing users to different domains or webpages outside of the current site.

Email Outreach

The practice of reaching out to website owners, bloggers, or influencers via email to request backlinks, collaborations, or other forms of partnership.

Engagement Metrics

Data points used to measure how users interact with a website or its content, including metrics such as time on page, bounce rate, and social shares.

Expired Domains

Domain names that have not been renewed by their owners and are available for registration, often sought after for their existing backlink profiles and potential SEO value.

Exit Links

Hyperlinks that lead users away from a particular webpage or website, typically used to direct users to external resources or related content.


F

Followed Links

Hyperlinks that are not marked with the rel=”nofollow” attribute, allowing search engine crawlers to follow them and pass link equity to the linked webpage.

Forum Posting

Participating in online discussion forums by contributing to threads or starting new discussions, often used as a way to engage with communities and build backlinks.

Footer Links

Links placed in the footer section of a webpage, typically appearing on every page of a website, sometimes used for navigation or to improve internal linking.

Fetch as Google

A feature in Google Search Console that allows webmasters to request indexing of a specific webpage, helping to ensure that recent changes or updates are reflected in search results.

Follow Attribute

An HTML attribute used to indicate that a hyperlink should be followed by search engine crawlers, allowing them to pass link equity to the linked webpage.

Featured Snippets

A type of search result displayed at the top of Google’s SERPs, providing concise answers to user queries extracted from relevant webpages, often enhancing visibility and organic traffic.

Forum Signature 

A customizable block of text or links that appears below forum posts made by a user, sometimes used to promote websites or drive traffic through backlinks.


G

Guest Posting

The practice of writing and publishing articles or blog posts on websites other than your own, often with the intention of building backlinks and increasing exposure.

Check “Guest posting sites list” to build high quality backlinks.

Google Analytics

A web analytics service provided by Google that tracks and reports website traffic, providing insights into user behavior, demographics, and conversion metrics.

Google Search Console

A free tool provided by Google that allows webmasters to monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot their website’s presence in Google Search results, providing data on indexing, search queries, and site performance.


H

Href Attribute

An HTML attribute used within the anchor <a> tag to specify the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) of the destination webpage, creating a hyperlink when clicked.


I

Inbound Links

Hyperlinks pointing to a particular webpage or website from external sources, also known as backlinks, playing a crucial role in SEO and determining a site’s authority.

Internal Links

Hyperlinks within a website that connect one webpage to another within the same domain, facilitating navigation, distributing link equity, and improving user experience.

Indexing

The process by which search engines crawl and add webpages to their databases, making them eligible to appear in search results for relevant queries.

Infographics

Visual representations of information, data, or knowledge designed to present complex concepts or data in a concise and engaging format, often shared online to attract backlinks and social shares.

Interlinking

The practice of strategically linking related webpages within a website’s content, enhancing website structure, improving user navigation, and distributing link equity.


J

Juice

A colloquial term used in SEO to refer to the passing of link equity or ranking power from one webpage to another through hyperlinks, also known as link juice.


K

Keyword Research

The process of identifying and analyzing specific words or phrases (keywords) that users enter into search engines, used to inform content creation, SEO strategy, and website optimization.

KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)

Metrics used to measure the success or performance of a website, marketing campaign, or business initiative, providing valuable insights into progress toward specific goals and objectives.


L

Link Building

The process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own, with the goal of improving search engine visibility, website authority, and referral traffic.

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Landing Page

A standalone webpage designed specifically to fulfill a particular marketing or advertising campaign objective, often optimized for conversion and focused on a single call-to-action.

Link Exchange

A mutual agreement between two website owners to exchange hyperlinks with each other, typically to improve each other’s search engine rankings and referral traffic.

Link Bait

Content intentionally created to attract backlinks and social shares from other websites and users, often by providing valuable information, entertainment, or controversy.

Long-tail Keywords

Specific and highly targeted keyword phrases typically consisting of three or more words, often used to capture niche audiences and improve search engine visibility for specific topics or queries.


M

Manual Penalty

A Google-imposed penalty on a website for violating its Webmaster Guidelines, typically requiring manual intervention by webmasters to address and resolve the issues before the penalty is lifted.

Mobile Optimization

The process of ensuring that a website is designed and formatted to provide an optimal viewing and user experience on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.


N

Nofollow Links

Hyperlinks that include the rel=”nofollow” attribute, instructing search engines not to pass any link equity or ranking value to the linked webpage, often used for user-generated content or sponsored links.

Natural Backlinks

Inbound links that are acquired organically, without any direct involvement or solicitation from the website owner, typically earned through high-quality content and positive user experiences.

Newswire

A service or platform that distributes press releases, news articles, or other content to journalists, media outlets, and online publications, often used for brand promotion, reputation management, or link building strategies.

Network 

A group or interconnected system of websites, servers, or devices that communicate and share resources, often used in the context of private blog networks (PBNs) or social media platforms to promote content or influence search rankings.


O

On-page Optimization 

The process of optimizing individual webpages to improve their search engine rankings and organic traffic, typically involving optimizing content, meta tags, headings, and internal linking.

Off-page Optimization 

SEO activities performed outside of a website to improve its search engine rankings and authority, including link building, social media marketing, and online reputation management.

Outbound Links 

Hyperlinks on a webpage that direct users to other websites or webpages outside of the current domain, providing additional resources or references for users.


P

Paid Links

Paid links are those acquired through monetary transactions, often in exchange for a hyperlink pointing to a specific website. While paid links can provide immediate visibility, they may violate search engine guidelines and risk penalties if detected.

Private Blog Networks (PBNs) 

Private Blog Networks are networks of interconnected websites created for the sole purpose of manipulating search engine rankings by artificially inflating backlink profiles. PBNs are considered a black hat SEO tactic and can lead to penalties if discovered by search engines.


Q

Query 

A request or search term entered by a user into a search engine, aiming to find information, products, or services relevant to their needs or interests.

Query Intent 

The underlying purpose or goal behind a user’s search query, categorized into informational, navigational, or transactional intent, influencing the type of content and results displayed by search engines.


R

Ranking 

The position of a webpage in search engine results pages (SERPs) for a given query, determined by various factors such as relevance, authority, and user experience.

Redirect

A technique used to forward users and search engines from one URL to another, commonly used for site migrations, URL changes, or to consolidate multiple pages.

Reciprocal Link 

A mutual agreement between two websites to link to each other, often for the purpose of improving search engine rankings or referral traffic, but can be considered a form of link scheme if excessive.

Robots.txt

A text file placed in the root directory of a website to instruct search engine crawlers on which pages or sections of the site should not be crawled or indexed.


S

SERP (Search Engine Results Page)

The page displayed by a search engine in response to a user’s query, containing a list of organic and paid search results relevant to the search query.

Spam Score 

A metric used to evaluate the likelihood that a website or webpage is engaging in spammy or manipulative tactics, typically based on factors such as the quality of backlinks and content.

Site Map

A hierarchical list or diagram of all the pages on a website, designed to aid navigation for users and search engines, often divided into XML sitemaps for search engines and HTML sitemaps for users.

Sponsored Posts

Sponsored posts are articles or content pieces created in collaboration with a brand or company in exchange for payment, with the purpose of promoting the brand or its products/services.

Sitewide Links

Sitewide links are links that appear on every page of a website, typically found in the footer or sidebar. These links can provide significant SEO value but should be used cautiously to avoid appearing spammy.

Spam 

In the context of link building, spam refers to any manipulative or low-quality tactics used to acquire links, such as buying links, keyword stuffing, or participating in link farms. Spammy links can harm a website’s search engine rankings.

Source Code 

Source code refers to the underlying code of a web page, which can be viewed by accessing the page’s HTML. Understanding source code can help identify opportunities for link building, such as finding broken links or optimizing anchor text.


T

Target Pages 

Pages on a website that link builders aim to acquire backlinks for, typically chosen strategically based on relevance and authority.

Templates 

Pre-designed formats or outlines used by link builders for outreach emails, content creation, or other link building activities to streamline the process.

Toxic Links

Links from low-quality or spammy websites that can potentially harm a site’s search engine rankings if not addressed through disavowal or removal efforts.

Traffic 

The volume of visitors that navigate to a website, often influenced positively by effective link building strategies.

Trust Flow 

A metric, often provided by tools like Majestic, that quantifies the trustworthiness of a website’s link profile based on the quality of backlinks.

Tiered Link Building

A link building strategy that involves creating multiple layers or tiers of backlinks to gradually boost the authority and ranking potential of target pages.

Textual Content

Written content such as articles, blog posts, and guides that serve as valuable assets for attracting natural backlinks when shared and referenced by other websites.

Tagging

Utilizing HTML tags like rel=”nofollow” or rel=”sponsored” to indicate to search engines the nature of links, influencing how they are crawled and indexed.


U

Unlinked Mentions 

Instances where a brand or website is mentioned in content but not hyperlinked, providing an opportunity for link builders to reach out and request a backlink.

User Experience (UX)

Ensuring that a website provides a seamless and enjoyable experience for visitors, which can indirectly contribute to natural link acquisition through positive user engagement and sharing.

Unique Content

Original and valuable content that stands out from competitors, making it more likely to attract natural backlinks from other websites.

URL Rating

A metric, often provided by tools like Ahrefs, that evaluates the strength and authority of a specific URL’s backlink profile.

Understanding Search Engine Algorithms

Staying informed about the criteria and updates of search engine algorithms, which can guide link building strategies to align with ranking factors and best practices.

Unnatural Links

Links that are acquired through manipulative or deceptive practices, such as buying links or participating in link schemes, which can result in penalties from search engines if detected.


V

Velocity

The rate at which backlinks are acquired or lost over time, which can impact a website’s link profile stability and influence its search engine rankings.

Visibility

The extent to which a website appears in search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant queries, influenced by its link profile, content quality, and other SEO factors.


W

Wayback Machine

An internet archive tool that allows users to view historical snapshots of websites, useful for researching past content and identifying potential link opportunities that may have been lost or changed over time.

White Hat Link Building

Ethical and legitimate link building tactics that adhere to search engine guidelines and focus on creating valuable content and fostering genuine relationships to attract natural backlinks.

Web Directories 

Online directories categorizing websites by topic or industry, offering potential opportunities for link building through submission and inclusion in relevant directory listings.

Webmaster Outreach

Initiating contact with webmasters or site owners to propose collaborative opportunities, such as guest posting, content partnerships, or resource sharing, aimed at securing valuable backlinks.

Web 2.0 Properties

Platforms and websites that enable user-generated content and interaction, such as social media sites, blogs, and forums, which can serve as channels for distributing content and acquiring backlinks.

Weekly Link Building Recap

A regular review and analysis of link building efforts and outcomes from the past week, including tracking acquired backlinks, identifying new opportunities, and adjusting strategies for future success.


X

XML Sitemaps

XML sitemaps are files that list all the URLs of a website, helping search engines crawl and index the site more efficiently. While not directly linked to link building, XML sitemaps indirectly contribute to SEO efforts by ensuring that all pages are discoverable, which can impact the likelihood of obtaining backlinks to those pages.

X-Robots-Tag

An alternative method to control how search engines crawl and index content on a webpage, similar to the robots.txt file but implemented within the HTML header of individual pages. While not directly a link building term, understanding the X-Robots-Tag can be beneficial in optimizing a website’s crawlability and indexation, indirectly impacting its link building efforts.


Y

Yandex

Yandex is a Russian search engine, offering opportunities for link building and visibility within the Russian-speaking internet community.

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